Have you ever met someone who appears like a very Christian person, but as you get to know them, things aren’t quite as they seem?
I’ve come across quite a few people like this. They love to preach to everyone else about Christianity, but then they talk behind other people’s backs, insulting everything they do. They expect everyone else to follow the commandments, but then turn around and break those very commandments themselves. The put others down for immoral behavior, yet they turn around and act in an immoral fashion.
These are the type of people who, through their actions, turn many people away from Christianity. People can see the hypocrisy in their actions, and many are disgusted with their behavior. They are referred quite commonly to the “holier than thou” group, and rightfully so. I refer to these people as false prophets, and Jesus speaks to this many times in the Bible.
“Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you than unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:19-20
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” Matthew 7:15
“Thus by their fruit you will recognize them. Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evil doers!'” Matthew 7:20-23
“You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” Matthew 23:27-28
Remember that old saying, “actions speak louder than words?” Nowhere is it more important to remember this than in Christianity. True Christians will not only speak of Jesus and the Bible, but they will actually live the Word and follow the commandments. They will not make up excuses for their own immoral behavior or try to justify their non-Christian attitudes toward other people. They will serve others willingly and be accepting of all people, showing love to everyone around them while being truthful, addressing non-Christian behavior in a compassionate way.
If you come across a “false prophet”, remember that Jesus himself said “Do not be deceived”. The Bible also says to “guard your heart”, so be aware and protect yourself, asking God for a hedge of protection around you. And most importantly, know that this kind of behavior is not true Christianity. Also, know that there are many, many wonderful Christians that do live by the Word of God and truly believe it in their heart and soul. They show great love, mercy and compassion for others, and you can recognize them by their actions.
“Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them: they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” Matthew 15: 13-14.
“If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.” Matthew 19:17